Month: January 2010

Flat balloon

Third problem has arisen… er, not arisen… aargh, you know what I mean. This balloon plooofed out, too, and sags limply in despair.

I am doomed.

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Cranberry hooch, etc.

Snaotheus conned me into purchasing a half-gallon of cranberry juice at the same time he conned me into buying half-a-beer-store’s worth of packaged and processed barley and hops. “You can make cranberry hooch!” he announced.

All right. I got around to putting sugar and yeast (Montrachet) in the cranberry juice last week. My understanding is that “hooch” requires the use of a balloon atop a bottle rather than the primary and secondary fermentation tanks and clickety little fermentation locks I’m used to employing to make wine.  I suspect it also requires the use of bread yeast, but all I had was the Montrachet in its little nitrogen-filled packet, so that’s what I put in the bottle.

First problem: The balloon broke on day two.

First solution: I attached a second balloon.

Second problem: The second balloon stood up whenever I shook the jar, but within minutes would go limp and look sad, dejected and embarrassed. (I shall eschew the obvious analogy. You have imaginations.)

Second solution: I pulled it off and attached yet a third balloon.

Third problem: Hasn’t occurred yet, but after losing all that CO2 during the first week, I suspect I’m gonna miss out on most of the nifty balloon-inflation fun that should, in a good and kind world, accompany the brewing of hooch.

I feel cheated.

While Northwood and Bassmaster gave me a beautiful, sleek, sexy little iPod Nano for Christmas, I have yet to get it past the “battery charged” stage. This isn’t from lack of interest, but from mental and emotional exhaustion.

First, it was delivered to my neighbor’s house so I didn’t know it was here for two days, until Bassmaster sent a mildly irate email.

Then, as soon as I plugged it in to charge it, my computer/s went from Bad to Worse to Really Heart-stoppingly Awful in the Interwebs reception area. It was taking me 20 minutes just to log on to my work site in the morning, and forget such things as streaming video and accessing Web sites.

Since no-work-site access equals no-pittance-in-the-bank, that came first. Two days’ worth of diagnosis and troubleshooting later, and I had to go buy a new wireless router. And install it. By myself. Yes, I hear all your teeth gritting with horror and the intake of air swishing through them. However, for perhaps the first time in my long, pathetic life, it actually worked.

Which left me so weak with relief that I haven’t yet recovered enough strength to tackle the iPod and its software, which until the aforementioned issue arose was giving me the Apple version of grief.

And then my pay-period totals showed that I was getting less than a 10 percent return for more than 30 percent additional work, and despite efforts to cut back on that, I’ve been having more and more piled on my plate such that … well, if you really wanna know, you can e- me, ’cause I expect lightning or some other sort of disaster would strike if I said it out loud. You know how that is.

I did at least get a birthday smidgen in the mail for Northwood, and another for the Bassmaster is in the offing. I’ve also gotta get deadline-sensitive things done for two friends with cancer.

I gotta tellya, life is not what I want it to be. Not atall, atall. If I could find a high cliff off which to hurl myself, I might just do it.

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One thing you gotta say for Snaotheus and KrisDi: They feed you rilly rilly good. I drove down yesterday intending and expecting to just hang out at the house, and they stuffed me full of the ineffably wonderful Naan ‘n’ Curry food for lunch, then we trucked over to Pam’s Kitchen for our first experience of Trinidadian food for dinner. Seriously awesome. We had, collectively, dahlpuri with beef and chicken curriy rotis and jerk chicken, some of the best habanero hot sauce I’ve ever tasted, and citrus rum punch, sorrel rum punch, and sorrel as drinks. The sorrel was fantastic: tart and sweet, with serious cinnamon and clove flavors cooked into it. I grew up with sorrel as a salad green, but this is evidently a kind of hibiscus flower petal. Yummmm.

We got to Pam’s just before it opened for the evening, and a crowd of people were already hanging around the door. We got in, but “had” to sit at the bar rather than a table. This turned out to be delightful, since we got to talk with the young man who was working back there, who turned out to be Pam’s son.

KrisDi and Snaotheus also sampled quite a few beers at Malt & Vine during the afternoon. They’re funny when they’re tipsy. 🙂 And visited bookstores, where I was extremely restrained and couldn’t find the one book I was looking for.

And they gave me my Christmas present, which turns out to be a stunning, sophisticated photo album of their wedding, chock full of wonderful Matt photos of them and everybody else, including young LaRyantrelle, having a great time together. Yay!

Oh, in case you can’t tell, the emoticon at the top is of a person so stuffed that her cheeks have popped out.

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Dudes, what’d I miss?

No messages or posts from any of you three boyos about whatever Astonishing and Amazing Off-the-wall Project you intended to do over Christmas at Dad’s? Did you poop out? I’m so disappointed not to have heard about it!

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Movies ‘n’ books

KrisDi and Snaotheus lent me The Stupidest Angel to read, by Christopher Moore. This obnoxious young man has joined the ranks of exactly three (now) authors who can make me fall out of bed laughing. It was utterly delightful, and thoroughly, charmingly twisted. I’d put it on y’all’s lists, fersure.

I’ve seen a few movies lately. Worth watching:

The Maiden Heist, which lets Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken and Wm. H. Macy have a marvelous time horsing around. Very charming and funny movie.

Sherlock Holmes, although Robert Downey Jr. comes nowhere near matching my mental image of Holmes. Jeremy Irons would have come closer. But Downey has a sort of insanity about him that fit.

Avatar, which has an utterly predictable story line but is so incredibly, beautifully imagined that it doesn’t matter. Saw it in 3D (the first 3D movie I’ve ever seen), and I kept wanting them to stop the action so I could examine the environment. Wonderful way to spend a rainy, windy, nasty afternoon.

Worth skipping: the new Taking of Pelham 123. The original is much, much, much better. They changed the plot a bit and updated some things, but the major “improvement” is using the f-word as many times and in as many forms as possible. Infinitive, gerund, adjectivally, adverbially, and several other ways. Idiotic thing to do, since it adds not one single thing to characterization.

I hope you’ve all recovered from your hangovers by now. 🙂 Happy new year!

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